Thursday, March 05, 2015

Bridging the gap: Combining self paced learning with live video chat

Every course ought to be an interactive learning experience. E-learning has always been one step behind the traditional classroom based learning in this respect. Rather than just act as a course delivery mechanism, the class room based training allowed for active interactions with the teachers and just as importantly, with fellow learners. The e-learning industry has always sought to close this gap. While virtual training sessions like GoTo services from Citrix and the WebEx products have always engaged the participants, self paced course delivery was still lacking the interactive environment.

We have done our fair share to address this issue. Our platform utilizes a course specific comment system so that users can write their feedback on courses and read other users feedback. We also have a discussion forum where users can engage in active discussions on a course. In this model, all users who are signed up for a course can get together in the discussion forum and engage in active discussions on various aspects of the course - all without leaving the system. Along with our course resource, related video, related links features, these interactive features like the comment system and discussion forum provide an interactive learning experience. 

Taking this one step further, we have implemented a course based video sharing system. Using this feature, users registered for a course can take part in a video conference/chat to discuss the course. This negates the need for the Admin to create a separate virtual training session for the same purpose. Users can access the virtual video system from the "Details" page for a course itself. Once the feature is released, Admins will be able to invite single or multiple users to a video chat, share files and discuss the self paced course in detail.

This feature can be utilized for a wide range of purposes, ranging from a Q&A with all the users registered for a course, to conducting a one on one with a single user in case the user needs special attention and guidance. The optional file sharing option will help users share notes while multiple users in the same video chat can simulate the class room environment by conducting a live group discussion. We hope the interactive course based video conference will help our customers achieve an immersive learning experience. Stay tuned!

Contributed by Vinod Rajendran, Vitalect Customer Support